Monday, November 11, 2013

Leiter links to Coetzee without understanding what he's reading.
A certain phase in the history of the university, a phase taking its inspiration from the German Romantic revival of humanism, is now, I believe, pretty much at its end. It has come to an end not just because the neoliberal enemies of the university have succeeded in their aims, but because there are too few people left who really believe in the humanities and in the university built on humanistic grounds, with philosophical, historical and philological studies as its pillars.
The German revival of humanism was based on a hierarchy of the humanities over the sciences. Panofsky, a friend of Einstein and Pauli, referred to his sons, one with a doctorate in astronomy and the other a physicist who won everything shy of a Nobel, as "meine beiden Klempner"  ("my two plumbers").

The humanist academy has been weakened over the last century by Fordism, Taylorism, value-free science, Sputnik, Chicago school economics, the MBA, naturalized epistemology, and art and literary theory taken as more important than art and literature: by technophilic fantasies and scholasticism, and formalism taken for platonism.

We're watching an ideology that grew out of the 18th century Enlightenment fade into into corporate feudalism.

Crooked Timber:
A post on the Overton Window follows a post of Epistemic Humility.

The Overton Window applies to the opinions of others: nothing reflects back to the speaker. How do we model our own blindness, and how can we claim humility without trying?

Rashid Khalidi
Anybody who is talking about a Palestinian state is talking about Wizard of Oz stuff. It’s not a reality… There is one state between the river and the sea. The Palestinians have a fife-and-drum corps, and control over nothing.

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